How to Select a Toothbrush | Types of Toothbrushes

right toothbrush

How to Select a Toothbrush | Types of Toothbrushes

Tooth brush plays major role in the maintenance of oral hygiene. We all know about tooth brush but most of the people don’t know about the selection of tooth brush. Selection of the right tooth brush is most important because our day starts with brushing.so think some time before choosing your brush.so many types of tooth brushes are available in the market to select a proper tooth brush.

Thousands of microbes grow on tooth brush bristles and handles. Most are harmless but others can cause cold sores, periodontal infections. You should replace your brush when it begins to show wear or for every 3 months.

Types of Tooth brushes :2 types

  • Manual
  • Powered

Types of Manual Toothbrushes

  • Conventional
  • Interdental brush
  • Sulca brush
  • End tuft brush
  • Chewable tooth brush
  • Ecological tooth brushes

right toothbrushConventional Tooth Brush:
Most commonly used toothbrush.it is comfortable and easy to use it effectively removes the plaque, debris. This toothbrush is divided into 3 parts.

  • Toothbrush head
  • Bristles
  • Handle

Toothbrush head:
Different shapes of toothbrush heads are available.

  1. Conventional-all conventional toothbrush head designs are effective in cleaning every tooth surface.
  2. Diamond shape-the tips of these toothbrush heads are narrower than conventional. This is convenient for posterior teeth.

The size of the brush head should be considered according to the size of oral cavity.

Age Diameter of the head (approximately)
O-2 years 15 mm
2-6 years 19mm
6-12years 22mm
>12years 25mm

Bristle Pattern:
The arrangement of bristles is known as bristle pattern. The bristle pattern also plays an important role in the removal of debris, plaque. Different types of bristle patterns are

  • Block pattern:-bristles are of the same length and arranged in a order like a block.
  • Wavy/v-shape pattern:-bristles are arranged in a in wavy/v-shape gives the bristles a better contact with the areas around the adjacent tooth surfaces.
  • Multilevel trim pattern:-this pattern is used to reach the difficult areas to clean
  • Criss cross pattern:-this pattern lift up plaque effectively.
  • Polishing cup bristles:-removes surface stains effectively

Handle:
If the handle of the brush is good then the brushing is comfortable. Different types of handle designs are

Straight handle:-all conventional toothbrushes have straight handles that are easier to control

Contra angle handle:-access difficult to clean areas

Flexible handle:-decrease the gum injury caused by excessive brushing force

Slip prevention grip handle:-prevent the toothbrush from slipping away during brushing
Interdental Brush:
It is a small brush, typically disposable, either supplied with a reusable angled plastic handle or an integral handle, used for cleaning between teeth and between the wire of dental braces and teeth. These brushes are ranked from 1-7 and color coded as per iso 16409.
Sulca Brush:
It is used specifically for cleaning along the gum line adjacent to the teeth. The bristles are arranged in a pointed arrow pattern to allow closer adaptation to the gums.it is ideal brush to reach the difficult areas such between crowns, bridges, crowded teeth.
End Tuft Brush:
Small round brush head comprises 7 tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces.it is used to clean

  • The area behind the wisdom teeth.
  • Orthodontic braces
  • Crowded teeth
  • Tooth surfaces that are next to missing teeth
  • Areas around implants, bridges, dentures and other appliances.

Chewable Toothbrush:
It is a miniature plastic moulded toothbrush which can be placed inside the mouth.it is not commonly used.it is useful for travelers.it is available in different flavors.it should be disposed after use. Other types of toothbrush include those that contain a small breakable plastic ball of toothpaste on the bristles, which can be used without water.
Ecological toothbrushes:
Generally toothbrushes are made of plastic.to reduce environmental impact some manufactures have switched to using biodegradable materials and replaceable heads.

Powered Toothbrush:

Also called as mechanical or automated brush or electronic toothbrush

An electronic toothbrush that makes rapid, automatic bristle motions, either back and forth oscillations or rotation oscillations made by motor. These are useful for those who have limited manual dexterity, psychological patients.

Electronic toothbrush can be classified into 2 categories based on the type of action

  1. Vibrating toothbrush:-brushing technique is similar to that manual brush
  2. Rotating-oscillating brushes:-cleaning technique is simply move the brush slowly from tooth to tooth.

Based on the speed of their movement

  1. Power toothbrushes
  2. Sonic toothbrushes:-audible frequency range is20HZ-20,000HZ
  3. Ultrasonic brushes:-audible frequency range>20,000HZ

Ultrasonic toothbrush:-emit vibrations that are very high in frequency. These vibrations break up bacterial chains that form dental plaque and remove their attachments to the tooth surface upto 5mm below the gum line. More effective than manual brushes.

Based on the power supply

  1. Battery-batteries are stered in the bottom of the brush and sealed against water damage. Once the battery life time is over then we need to change the battery. Less costly than electrical rechargeable toothbrushes.
  2. Rechargeable electric toothbrush:-electric recharge is necessary. Different charging methods are available such as toothbrush chargers, induction method. Various brushing modes are available for sensitive teeth, whitening, gum massaging. Pressure sensor indicator is present to warn you if your brushing is too hard.

How to Clean and Store a Toothbrush:

  • Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris
  • Don’t share toothbrush
  • Bacteria can also be killed by heat. Boil the water and place the brush in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
  • wash your hands before handling your brush
  • wash your toothbrush before and after every use
  • Replace your toothbrush for every 3 months. The electronic toothbrush head should be changed for every 3 to 6 months at minimum or as soon as the brush head has visibly deteriorated.
  • When you are sick disinfect the toothbrush by letting it soak in an antibacterial solution for 10 minutes after brushing each time
  • Place the toothbrush in upright position
  • Keep the brushes separately to prevent cross contamination
  • Do not cover them or store in a closed container
  • Allow the brush to air dry until used again
  • Check brushes often for wear
  • Children toothbrushes often need to be replaced more frequently than adults
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